The Keys to a Proper Squat - The Barbell Physio

The Keys to a Proper Squat

The Keys to a Proper Squat

The keys to a proper squat

There are a few important keys to a proper squat that we need to follow as we look at what makes a safe and efficient squat.

  • First, as the athlete squats, their feet should remain flat on the ground and should not rotate out during performance of the squat. The keys to a proper squat
  • Second, knees should remain over the middle of the feet.
  • Third, the athlete’s low back shouldn’t round as they descend into the squat, it should remain nice and neutral.
  • Fourth, the movement should be initiated not just by pushing the knees forward but the hips should also travel backwards.


To show you the faults that we often see in the squat, we’ll go through the keys to a proper squat.

  • overhead-squat-testFirst, the athlete might rotate their feet out as they go down into a squat.
  • Second, they might actually have their heels rise up off of the ground as they go down into the squat. That may be a visible rise or it might be that the athlete is simply shifting too much weight onto their toes and not keeping as much weight on their heels.
  • Third, they may let their knees cave inward as they go down into a squat. Looking at them from the side, they might initiate the squat solely by pushing their knees forward and not loading their hips up at all.
  • Finally, they may round their low back as they descend into the squat and lose that neutral spine positioning, what’s commonly referred to as a butt wink.

It’s also important to address what a proper squat is not. Every athlete has different anatomical considerations that need to go into effect when we look at their squat pattern. They’re never going to be two athletes that have the exact same squat pattern. For example, I tend to be much more narrow then Mitch is. He has his feet pointed straight forward, mine are slightly pointed outward. But we meet those key points of performance. Our low back stays in a neutral position, our knees are staying over our toes and our feet aren’t rotating out or coming off of the ground as we squat down.

Interested in reading more about why people have to squat differently? Check out this great article by The Movement Fix.





The above was an exert from “Master the Squat” (and sorry for the poor audio quality in this article…the full MTS video audio is MUCH better!). MASTER THE SQUAT is the answer to any athlete, coach, or clinician wanting to improve the fundamental movement pattern of the squat. It is designed to give you the tests and correctives exercises needed to improve any athlete’s squat. Whether you are an athlete, coach, or rehab professional this video has the tools you need to step your game up!